Extra-judicial political repression in 1968-9, February 1969 (6.5)

<< No 6 : 28 February 1969 >>


In addition to the details given in CCE 5 [CCE 5.3, Nos 128-136], the Chronicle is now able to report the following. In April 1968 leaflets appeared at the Polytechnic, Pedagogical and Medical Institutes, and at the University of Gorky, calling on people to “follow the Czech example”. As a result students and teachers of several higher educational establishments were called to the Gorky City KGB in April and May. It was discovered that they were not responsible for the leaflets; nevertheless a number of them were subjected to various forms of repression. As reported in No. 5, university lecturers V. Pavlenkov [correction, see CCE 10.6] and S. Pavlenkova; Tavger, Head of the Department of Physics; and V.V. Pugachyov, Professor of History (mistakenly described in Issue 5 as Professor of Physics), were all dismissed from their jobs.

A number of students have been expelled from the Komsomol for reading samizdat: in the history faculty, [V.] Buidin and Borisoglebsky, the latter a member of the faculty bureau of the Komsomol; in the physics faculty, Tartakovsky and Fishman, the latter a member of the university committee of the Komsomol; and three students from the Medical Institute.

The following have been expelled from both the Komsomol and the university: E. Kupchinov and I. Goldfarb, for distributing samizdat and refusing to give evidence, and V. Pomazov, for distributing samizdat, refusing to give evidence and participating in the writing and distribution of the essay, “The State and Socialism”. Two students were expelled from the Medical Institute for distributing samizdat. Several students were not admitted to their military departments. In November 1968 Ternovsky, a student of the history faculty of the university and three students of the Polytechnic were expelled for distributing [the Czechoslovak liberals’ manifesto] “Two Thousand Words” [CCE 5.1].

In Issue 5 of the Chronicle it was reported that a student, whose last name was given incorrectly [as Goldfarb], had announced at a meeting of the Komsomol in the university that she was leaving the organization as a gesture of protest against the expulsion of students from it. According to more exact information the student who made the announcement was Klara Geldman. She was not subjected to any immediate repression but in January 1969, having sat her final examinations and left for Kiev to write her diploma thesis, she received the news that she had been expelled from the university.

students and the Komsomol (web)
Students and the Komsomol


D. Kvachevskaya, a 5th-year student at the Medical Institute, was excluded in 1965 in connection with the Bell case [CCE 2.7, items 1 & 5], and then re-admitted. Now she has been excluded a second time in connection with the prosecution of her brother: “for actions that are incompatible with the title of Soviet student”.

Yury Lyubansky, a mathematician at the Telegraph Institute and a witness in the case of Gendler, Kvachevsky and Studenkov [CCE 5.2], gave testimony in court in favour of the accused. After denying part of the deposition he gave during the pre-trial investigation, Lyubansky was dismissed from his job.


Ivan Rudakov, an engineer, the husband of Irina Belogorodskaya, was dismissed in September 1968 “at his own request”. The contract of Vladimir Lapin, poet and part-time consultant to the Pioneer magazine, was not renewed. He attended the trial of the Red Square demonstrators and expressed his indignation at the chauvinistic atmosphere surrounding the hearing in a letter written jointly with L.F. Vasiliev and Z.M. Grigorenko.

For signing the Letter [of 95] defending the demonstrators of 25 August 1968, historian Leonid Petrovsky, Neifakh, a Doctor of Biological Sciences, S. Pisarev, a member of the Communist Party since 1920, and the man of letters Solomon Bernstein have been expelled from the Party. The geologist Yury Dikov also signed this letter: the oral examination of his dissertation has been postponed for an indefinite period. Vladimir Rokityansky, who worked under contract as a translator in the Psychology Faculty of Moscow University, did not have his contract renewed.

To conclude the news of extra-judicial repression the Chronicle prints in full a report from the Information Bulletin of the board Secretariat of the USSR Union of Writers (1968, No. 6 (18), p. 15).

Some of the writers mentioned here have already been referred to in the Chronicle. Then, however, it was a matter of repression through Party or professional channels. In this case thirty-five writers have received various kinds of punishment from the Union of Writers.

Report from the Secretariat of the Board
of the Moscow Organization

Information Bulletin” No. 4 already reported that on 17 April 1968 the Board Secretariat of the Moscow writers’ organization discussed the issue of those writers who signed a declaration defending Ginzburg, Galanskov and others.

The Secretariat’s resolution stated in particular that the irresponsible actions of a few writers showed that they had infringed that part of the Statutes of the USSR Union of Writers which obliges its members to engage in an ideological struggle against bourgeois and revisionist influences.

At its session of 20 May 1968, the Board Secretariat of the Moscow writers’ organization resolved to announce to Writers’ Union members that in view of the political irresponsibility manifested in the signing of declarations and letters which, by their form and content, discredited Soviet laws and the authority of Soviet judicial organs, and for ignoring the fact that these documents might be exploited by bourgeois propaganda for purposes damaging to the Soviet Union and Soviet literature, the following measures had been taken:

  • A severe reprimand and warning, with an endorsement in his personal file, for L.Z. Kopelev.
  • A reprimand with endorsement in their personal files for:
    V.P. Aksyonov, D.S. Samoilov, B.I. Balter, V.N. Voinovich, L.K. Chukovskaya, A.A. Steinberg.
  • It was decided to give a severe rebuke to the following members of the Writers’ Union:
    B.A. Akhmadulina, N.M. Korzhavin, V.V. Shitovaya, B.M. Sarnov, F.A. Iskander, G.M. Pozhenyan, L.E. Pinsky, I.N. Solovyova, F.G. Svetov, K.A. Ikramov,
    Yu.D. Levitansky, E.G. Adamyan, E.M. Golysheva, N.D. Otten-Potashinsky.
  • The following members of the Writers’ Union were given strong warnings:
    K.P. Bogatyryov, V.N. Kornilov, N.V. Naumov, Yu.O. Dombrovsky, V.E. Maximov,
    L.A. Levitsky.
  • The following members received a warning:
    V.A. Khinkis, K.L. Rudnitsky, N.N. Matveyeva, V.A. Kaverin, M.F. Loriye, Yu.P. Kazakov, Yu.F. Edlis, and M.M. Roshchin.